Google has confirmed it is exploring making its own foldable smartphone, but that doesn't mean it's definitely launching one.
Ahead of Google I/O, the company told CNET it is prototyping foldable devices: “We’re definitely prototyping the technology. We’ve been doing it for a long time,” said Mario Queiroz, Google’s Pixel development lead. However, he said, “I don’t think there’s a clear use case yet . . . We’re prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies, and have no related product announcements to make at this time."
So, what does this mean? In a nutshell: Google is looking into foldables, but you shouldn’t expect a foldable Pixel from it any time soon.
Let's keep in mind Google announced native Android support for foldable displays last November, so we're not surprised to learn it is playing with the technology. We also can't help but wonder if Google has become weary of foldables ever since the Samsung Galaxy Fold fiasco, um, unfolded in April. There was a lot of hype around the device, and then reviewers discovered it's extremely fragile and perhaps shouldn't be released.
Samsung has since pushed the Fold's release date indefinitely in order to fix its display tech. Google likely now knows that, if it were to ever launch its own foldable, it'd have iron out every last kink first and have an impeccable launch to avoid any and all comparisons to the Fold. Hopefully, Google does just that before debuting its foldable Pixel phone, though we have to admit we'd love to see it sooner rather than later.
Let's also not forget that Google has a patent application that already confirmed months ago it is exploring foldable displays. At the time, we noted Google doesn’t manufacture displays. The Pixel 3 was produced by Chinese company Foxconn, for example. So, there is a chance that Google could just give this patent design to a manufacturer if it wanted to produce a foldable Pixel phone in the future.